The potty-mouthed hackers who hijacked Comcast's domain name for several hours last year were charged with intentionally damaging a protected computer system.
Christopher Allen Lewis, 19, of Delaware, James Robert Black Jr., 20, of Washington, and Michael Paul Nebel, 27, of Michigan were indicted Thursday on a single felony count. In May 2008, the trio commandeered the comcast.net domain name and caused people who tried to visit the site to check email and listen to voicemail to be directed to page that bragged about the exploit, prosecutors allege.
Based on the six-page document filed in federal court in Pennsylvania, it appears the men gained control of the Comcast address by social engineering one of its employees. A night before the attack, they called the person listed as a contact for comcast.net at home "and asked the employee if he would answer questions concerning" fearnet.com, a separate domain owned by Comcast.
They then logged onto a Comcast email account and used it to communicate with the company that maintained Comcast's DNS server information.
After illegally accessing accounts that controlled Comcast's DNS server information, the men changed the IP addresses so requests for comcast.net were directed to servers under their control. As a result, people who tried to access Comcast services were directed to a page that read "KRYOGENIKS Defiant and EBK RoXed COMCAST sHouTz to VIRUS Warlock elul21 coll1er seven."
Kryogeniks was the name of their hacking crew. They also changed the official contact in the comcast.net whois lookup to "69 dick tard lane, dildo room, Philadelphia, PA 19103." The incident caused a loss to Comcast of $128,578. Later they contacted the Comcast employee at home again and asked if Comcast's domains were working properly.
If convicted, the men face a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. ®